Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)



Course duration

2 Days

Certificate valid for

Never expires

Grant Available
Selected Dates

This Mental Health First Aid course (MHFA) is for anyone who wishes to learn more about mental health issues or who, in their course of work, are required to support the workplace and its employees by providing mental health first aid guidance, advice and early recognition of signs or symptoms relating to mental health. Our MHFA courses are designed to reduce associated stigma within mental health and increase support for those who may have a mental illness through education. This course is also suitable for anyone currently working in mental health or who are supporting people within their personal lives.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course which teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.

MHFA England training won’t teach you to be a therapist, but just like physical first aid, it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis.

Adult MHFA England courses are for everyone aged 16 upwards. Every MHFA England course is delivered by a quality assured Instructor Member who has attended the Instructor Training programme accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health, and is trained to keep people safe and supported while they learn.

Research and statistics 

MHFA England

  • To date over 400,000 people across England have taken an MHFA England course
  • There are about 1,800 registered MHFA England Instructor Members in England
  • Numerous independent evaluations demonstrate that MHFA training is effective at meeting its aims. A summary of research can be found at

UK mental health

  • One in four people in the UK will experience at least one diagnosable mental health issue in any one year (Health & Social Care Information Centre, 2009)
  • Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 20 to 49 (Office for National Statistics, 2015)
  • Mental ill health is responsible for the largest burden of ill health in the UK, representing 28% of the total burden, compared to 16% for cancer and 16% for heart disease (Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer, 2013)

Mental health in the workplace

  • At any one time one worker in six will be experiencing depression, anxiety or issues relating to stress (Centre for Mental Health, 2010)
  • Mental ill health costs UK employers £34.9 billion each year - the equivalent of £1,300 for every employee in the UK workforce. This figure consists of £10.6 billion in sickness absence, £21.2 billion in reduced productivity, and £3.1 billion in replacing staff who leave their jobs for mental health-related reasons (Centre for Mental Health, 2017)
  • Stress, anxiety and depression are the biggest cause of sickness absence in our society. Work-related stress alone accounted for 45% of all working days lost to ill health in 2015/16 (Health and Safety Executive, 2017)

MHFA Mental Health First Aid Course Overview

This two day course qualifies you as a Mental Health First Aider, giving you:

  • A deeper understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect people's wellbeing, including your own
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support - whether that’s self-help resources, through their employer, the NHS, or a mix

Mental Health First Aid Course Content

Over this two day course, the following will be covered;

Session 1

  • Why Mental Health First Aid?
  • The Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • What is mental health?
  • Impact of mental health issues
  • Stigma and discrimination
  • What is depression?
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Risk factors for depression
  • Depression in the workplace

Session 2

  • Suicide figures
  • Alcohol, drugs and mental health
  • First aid for suicidal crisis
  • Non-judgemental listening skills
  • First aid for depression
  • Treatment and resources for depression
  • Self-care

Session 3

  • What is an anxiety disorder?
  • First aid for anxiety disorders
  • Crisis first aid after a traumatic event
  • Alcohol, drugs and anxiety disorders
  • Treatment and resources for anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive distortions and CBT
  • Personality disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm

Session 4

  • What is psychosis?
  • Risk factors for psychosis
  • Alcohol, drugs and psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Warning signs of developing psychosis
  • Crisis first aid for acute psychosis
  • Treatment and resources for psychosis
  • Recovery and building resources
  • Action planning for using MHFA

Learner Numbers

In order to ensure the interaction between the learners and the tutor is spread evenly and effectively, the maximum number of learners allowed on a course is sixteen.

Learning takes place through a mix of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities.

Upon successful completion, all learners will receive a certificate of attendance to say you are a Mental Health First Aider.

All successful learners will receive a mental health action plan reference card, a manual and a helpful toolkit.

How will attending an MHFA England course help? 

Research and evaluation shows that taking part in an MHFA England course:

  • Raises awareness and mental health literacy
  • Reduces stigma around mental ill health
  • Boosts knowledge and confidence in dealing with mental health issues
  • Promotes early intervention which enables recovery

About MHFA England

  1. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England is a community interest company established in 2009 
  2. MHFA England is the only provider of licensed Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training in England. Its Instructor Training programme is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health 
  3. MHFA England’s social mission is to help people develop the skills to look after their own and others' wellbeing and reduce the stigma associated with mental ill health. 
  4. MHFA is the mental health equivalent of physical first aid training and provides participants with the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support 
  5. MHFA England runs a variety of courses tailored for different audiences including Adult MHFA, Youth MHFA, Higher Education MHFA and Armed Forces MHFA 
  6. To date more than 400,000 people in England have taken MHFA England courses 
  7. MHFA is an internationally recognised course, taught in 25 countries around the world. There are now over 2.6 million people trained in MHFA skills worldwide 
  8. More information about MHFA England and its courses can be found at